Transformers: Time Wars
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Buy previous books in series:
Transformers: Target 2006 (UK/US)
Transformers: Fallen Angel (UK/US)
Transformers: Legacy of Unicron (UK/US)
Transformers: Space Pirates (UK/US)
Transformers: Time WarsFor a media franchise based on a bunch of toys, Transformers has to be applauded (or despised, depending on your outlook on life). Because like it or not, Hasbro's Transformers have achieved the holy grail of toy manufacturers: they've transcended a generation of fans. Someone who got an Optimus Prime figure back in 1984 could now be buying Transformers for children of their own.
This particular part of the comic book series was originally published as a weekly comic in the UK in the late '80s. Whether it's because Hasbro wanted to plump up the excitement of the toy line or had different tricks up their sleeves is difficult to say. However, this particular set of stories follow on from the occurrences in the original Transformers movie, and writer Furman was given permission to mix the universe up, even destroying some of the main characters. Whatever the motives, Furman was given the space he needed to create a compelling storyline that, considering the subject matter, is surprisingly compelling.
The plot is a time twisting paradox, where evil Transformers (Decepticons) from the future come back in time in an attempt to bump off their future rivals. This creates a rift in the time-space continuum, which threatens to destroy everything. So future Transformer goodies (Autobots) also come back to try and stop them. It's a confusing tale in places, not least of all because of all the characters that are crammed into it - no doubt for product placement purposes - but the level of sophistication falls in its favour.
The artwork is a little less sophisticated though, not helped by the fact that the artists were realising plastic figures that never looked all that amazing in the first place. Compared to the work that's gone into the plot, some of the drawing comes across as a little hurried.
As we've already mentioned, interest in the Transformers franchise continues apace, with modern comic titles being created that hope to rival this work. Considering this volume, we think they'll have a tough job. Anyone who can't get enough of the current crop of cartoons and comics should certainly take a look, though there are earlier titles in the series that probably ought to be read before this concluding title (Transformers: Target 2006, Transformers: Fallen Angel, Transformers: Legacy of Unicron and Transformers: Space Pirates). However, the reliance on knowledge of the characters (and therefore a constantly updating line of toys) probably keeps this firmly in the realm of hardcore fans and younger readers.
Originally published as
Transformers 130-131, 189, 199-205; Transformers Annual 1988